Monday, September 3, 2007

Red Beans and Rice

I'm posting this picture 5/27/2012 (4 yrs 8 months after the original post)--just to prove that this recipe delivers again and again over the years!
This is a hearty, simple meal that will feed you all week long. I make it with a pressure cooker because it is SO much faster that way, but you can simmer it on the stove if you prefer. The recipe is based on one from the cookbook that came with my pressure cooker. I didn't take photos because I find that bean dishes look horrible in them so you'll just have to use your imagination.

First soak one pound of red beans overnight. I use "small red beans", but they're kind of hard to find, so you could use pink beans, roman beans, pintos, or even red kidney beans for this. If you didn't soak them overnight, you can put them in a pot of water, bring it to boil for one minute, and then turn off the heat and let them sit for 4 hrs. When you cut a bean in half there should be no pale starchy spot in the middle.

  • 1 lb dry red beans, soaked overnight
  • 1 ham hock or 1/4 lb. slab bacon
  • 1 lb sausage, andouille is best, but pan sausage or Italian will work
  • 1 large onion, chopped finely
  • 4 celery ribs, chopped finely
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped finely
  • 1 spicy pepper, chopped finely
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp thyme
  • 2 tsp white pepper
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • dash cayenne
  • 1 Tbsp hot sauce (to taste)
  • A pinch of sugar
  • white rice
  • chicken broth
  • S&P
  • butter
  • parsley
For the rice, cook your rice in the broth, S&P, and butter. Stir in finely chopped parsley at the end. Keep warm until dinner time.

For the red beans, if you're using slab bacon, cut it into small chunks and cook it in your pressure cooker pot until it starts to brown. If you're using a ham hock, add it later. Heck, you can use both and it will be delicious. Sautee in the bacon drippings or in some oil the veggies. Add to the pot the soaked beans, all the seasonings except the sugar, and the ham hock. Cover with water (just enough to submerge) and bring to a boil. Put the lid on and cook at full pressure for 10 min, then allow pressure to escape naturally. In lieu of a PC, cook for 1 hr (yikes!).

Open the PC and remove the ham hock to cool. Meanwhile, brown the sausage in a separate pan and then add it to the beans. Cut whatever meat you can find off of the ham hock and add that to the beans. Bring back to a boil and then replace the pressure lid. Cook at full pressure for 10 more minutes and then allow pressure to escape naturally. If you're using a regular pot, continue cookin the beans until they are tender

Once beans are tender, adjust the seasonings with a pinch of sugar, black pepper, and more hot sauce to taste (though you can keep this recipe as mild as you like). Serve over seasoned rice with additional chopped bell peppers to garnish. You will not go hungry with this in the house! Tastes even better the next day.

PS...The original recipe I used is called "Cajun", but trusty Wikipedia tells me that red beans are a Creole item, so that just goes to show the cookbook authors. What do you expect from the Swiss? Anyway you call it, this is a good recipe from somewhere in Louisiana.


Marjorie Magidow Schalles said...

"Sautee in the bacon drippings or in some oil the veggies."

Gad, you sound more like my Grandma every day!

Lillian said...

So, enough copy-pasting and I sound like a Jewish grandmother? Who knew?